Center for Health Improvement

The MaineHealth Center for Health Improvement supports and serves MaineHealth members and others with integrated clinical, community and policy approaches.

Explore the programs and resources offered by the MaineHealth Center for Health Improvement below. For more information, email CHI@mainehealth.org

Access to Care

  • Provides access to healthcare and medications through the CarePartners, MedAccess and other donated healthcare services programs.
  • Connects people to social service resources such as heating assistance and food banks.
  • Facilitates patient enrollment in free prescription assistance programs and low cost generic medication education.
  • Performs outreach and provides assistance with enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace, the MaineCare Limited Benefit and the MaineCare Spenddown.

Chronic Disease Management

Diabetes and Lung Health

The Chronic Disease Program provides support to MaineHealth hospitals and practices in their efforts to decrease clinical variation and achieve a high standard of care, including:

  • Identifying evidence-based clinical strategies; 
  • Training care team members on national treatment guidelines, common medications and current trends utilizing hands-on practice sessions;
  • Providing standardized patient education materials and support for reaching regional and system metric goals.

Data Reporting and Evaluation

The Data Reporting and Evaluation team provides population health information that can be used by MaineHealth organizations and our partners to:

  1. Understand what public health needs are in the local communities and across the MaineHealth service area
  2. Prioritize health issues we will focus on
  3. Identify strategies and resources for addressing these prioritized needs
  4. Identify opportunities for collaborative partnerships
  5. Evaluate the degree of progress being made on system priorities.

 

This team:

 

The team can assist members with:

  • Understanding Health Index and CHNA data and clarifying its implications, through in-person or phone meetings;
  • Finding additional data and providing more in-depth information about specific health issues or data reports;  
  • Presenting (in-person or via webinar) on specific topics (e.g. “Interpreting the County Health Rankings”; or “Tobacco Use - Past, Present and Future Opportunities”);
  • Planning and hosting the community forums required as part of the CHNA process;
  • Producing CHNA/Implementation Strategy reports, and;
  • Facilitating the sharing of population health successes and challenges across MaineHealth members.

Health Education and Training

Health Education and Communication 

The Health Education and Communication team assists members in educating patients, practice staff and the public as well as connecting MaineHealth practices to resources, training and support. Work includes:

  • Assistance in using best practices in patient education, including health literacy services, video production and still photography.
  • Management and staffing of Learning Resource Centers in Scarborough and Falmouth (i.e., lending libraries with books, DVD’s and brochures which can be mailed to member hospitals and patients).
  • Community education and outreach (via health-related classes, in-person consultation, on-line chat, email and phone) regarding specific health topics/conditions.
  • Provider training services, including professional meeting/event planning and management; and training on topics including health literacy, teach-back, SBAR, stress-reduction, health coaching and others.
  • Connecting individual practices and patients via focus groups, survey work, creating/managing social media messaging, provider coaching/observation and patient experience projects.


Physician Leadership Development Fellowship

This program supports emerging physician leaders from across the system in developing their leadership skills, knowledge and capacity. MaineHealth hospital CEOs and CMOs nominate local physicians to participate in the fellowship. The program staff accepts up to 40 nominations and typically begins a new cycle every other spring. To date, 179 physicians have completed the fellowship.

  • Develops a cadre of emerging physician leaders who have taken on leadership roles and who can help MaineHealth and its partners achieve the mission and goals of MaineHealth. 
  • Fosters relationships among physician leaders across the region.
  • Sustains and nurture physician leaders across the region. 
  • Physicians who are interested in seeking nomination should contact their CMO or Natalie Thomas.  

Grants Office

  • Monitors funding opportunities and alerts MH members to them via “Grants Group” listserv.
  • Leads program development/proposal writing efforts within MaineHealth.
  • Assists MaineHealth member organizations in developing concept papers and proposals.
  • Offers regular training and consultation to MaineHealth member and affiliate organizations regarding finding potential funders, writing proposals.

Inpatient Resources

Clinical Decision Support

  • Review of new Best Practice Alert requests to ensure they are guiding providers and clinicians to proven best practices
  • Review of BPA’s to monitor usage and continued relevance. 
  • Monitoring of medication alert occurrences to ensure that each alert is meaningful and to decrease alert fatigue

 

Emergency Medicine

  • Convenes Emergency Medicine leaders across MH to develop and promote the use of consistent policies, protocols and procedures for Emergency Medicine practice.

 

Order Set Review

  • Review of new order set requests to ensure they are clinically appropriate, encompass best practice and can be used across MaineHealth to promote standardization wherever possible. 
  • Coordinates review of existing order sets by clinical staff across the health system to ensure order sets are clinically up to date, and standardize where possible.

 

Surgical Quality Collaborative

  • Convenes surgical leaders from all MaineHealth hospitals to promote and improve surgical outcomes and safety.
  • Supports use of NSQIP database for reporting and benchmarking 
  • Identifies opportunities for improvement, facilitates sharing of best practices and supports work toward standardizing surgical care

Pharmacy and Medication Management

The MaineHealth Pharmacy Enterprise supports and assists members by developing and promoting use of consistent policies, protocols and procedures across the system for medication management and safety including:

  • Anticoagulation management
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • 340B program operations and compliance
  • Medication use and build requests within the EHR
  • Pyxis-ES, our automated dispensing cabinet platform

Practice Support

Clinical Support Training and Development (Medical Assistant Training)

  • Provides Medical Assistants with training to help prepare them for success in the practice setting.
  • Developed and offers a standardized curriculum of Foundational and Advanced Trainings available to all MAs.
  • Offers interactive training modules on a variety of topics (e.g. chronic disease management, patient visit planning, medication administration/safety and population health).


Community-Based Dementia Care

  • MaineHealth Healthy Aging provides education and training for healthcare providers and staff in order to increase the capacity to treat dementia in the primary care, hospital and long-term care settings.
  • The team provides education and administrative support to primary care providers and staff to implement a process for detecting dementia in the early stages, helping patients, families and providers to better manage the patient’s overall health.
  • The team also facilitates connections between healthcare and community-based resources, to ensure that patients and families receive supportive services that will enable them to manage their health and well-being outside of the healthcare setting.


Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV)

  • Identifies Best Practice.
  • Develops workflow to maximize roles and responsibilities of health care teams.
  • Develops training and education plan.
  • Optimizes electronic health record to support annual wellness visits and clinical documentation improvement.
  • Increases number of patients receiving AWV to close gaps in care and develop personalized prevention plan.


Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care Program

  • Supports system and regional program development to assure that any person of any age, and living at any stage with a serious illness, has access to high quality palliative and end-of-life care along the illness trajectory so that they can live as fully as possible, across the continuum in our MaineHealth community.
  • Develops system-wide standards to support the provision of Palliative Care.
  • Engages the community in advance care planning conversations.


Patient Centered Medical Home

  • Works to successfully implement our member organizations' strategies for creating a strong primary care network within each hospital service area and transform our own practices, incorporating the principles of the patient centered medical home.
  • Provides technical assistance and training to support practices.
  • Convenes regional partnership meetings with key stakeholders.
  • Provides an electronic resource hub with an extensive collection of tools, videos and samples policies.

Prevention and Wellness

Supports patients, providers, employees and community members in avoiding or minimizing the impact of acute and chronic disease by implementing strategies in the clinical, community and policy domains, including:

  • Increasing age and risk appropriate screenings, including colorectal cancer screening.
  • Providing clinical tools, patient education and resource materials for improving blood pressure control and decreasing pre-diabetes.
  • Offering the National Diabetes Prevention Program to at-risk patients and community members.
  • Providing National Diabetes Prevention Program training to health coaches.


Healthy Weight

  • Prevents childhood obesity by supporting member hospitals in the implementation of the Let’s Go! multi-setting model.
  • Improves obesity care by supporting primary care practices in the implementation of the Let’s Go! adult and pediatric healthcare interventions.
  • Increases access to healthy foods and beverages in member and affiliate hospitals by supporting food service departments in implementing healthy hospital food service strategies


Child Health

Childhood Immunizations

The Childhood Immunizations team provides training, technical assistance, and evidence-based tools to practices to increase childhood immunization rates in order to meet system and national benchmarks, including:

  • Virtual and in-person training for clinical staff;   
  • Practice coaching and support for quality Improvement; and
  • Evidence-based tools for practice improvement at the system, practice and patient levels.


Children’s Oral Health

Before the First Tooth and From the First Tooth are two statewide initiatives working to improve oral health of pregnant women, infants, toddlers and preschool children.This program provides:

  • Trainings for primary care providers and practice managers on the integration of preventative oral health evaluation, screening and referral as a standard of care within the practice setting.
  • Technical assistance and quality improvement services to OB/GYN, pediatric and family medicine practices interested in increasing the number of women and children receiving preventative dental care as part of primary care.
  • Assistance with oral health EHR integration and report designs, MU, on-site technical assistance with workflow and processes, Maintenance of Certification, quality metrics, staff competencies and billing.


Raising Readers

Raising Readers is a statewide program funded by the Libra Foundation; led and administered by MaineHealth in collaboration with EMHS; and with support from The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. This program provides:

  • Books for Maine children, at birth and at well-child visits through age five, in order to promote early childhood literacy and a love of reading; 
  • Support for healthcare providers to coach parents on the importance of reading aloud starting at birth, so that children enter school with the early literacy skills needed for success. 


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Developmental Screening

The MaineHealth Child Health program supports an interdisciplinary team of leaders and content experts striving to build on current efforts to lead the MaineHealth system in the development of best practice models for education, prevention, screening and treatment of ACEs.

Healthy Aging

The Healthy Aging team delivers programs focused on falls prevention, dementia care, safe mobility, and post-acute care, in a range of settings (e.g., practices, community based agencies).

A Matter of Balance

MaineHealth Healthy Aging is the national program administrator for this evidence-based, community-based, small group intervention program designed to reduce the fear of falling in older adults and increase their activity levels. The team sets up and conducts training sessions around the country (currently in 40 states and the Virgin Islands); and supports all sites with technical assistance and implementation issues.

Community-Based Dementia Care

  • Provides education and training for healthcare providers and staff in order to increase the capacity to treat dementia in the primary care, hospital and long-term care settings.
  • Provides education and administrative support to primary care providers and staff to implement a process for detecting dementia in the early stages, helping patients, families and providers to better manage the patient’s overall health.
  • Facilitates connections between healthcare and community-based resources, to ensure that patients and families receive supportive services that will enable them to manage their health and well-being outside of the healthcare setting.


Fall Prevention and Safe Mobility

  • Provides support and guidance for those responsible for the MaineHealth System Measure: Reducing Falls with Injuries. 
  • Convenes MaineHealth Hospital Fall Prevention team to review falls with injury data and collaborate for advancement of knowledge and quality improvement.
  • Hospital Fall Prevention Team and Senior Living Falls Workgroups share evidence-based falls prevention and falls management quality improvement initiatives and best practices.
  • Increases fall risk screenings, multifactorial fall risk assessments, and interventions in practices to promote safe mobility in the community-dwelling older adult.
  • Provides practice resources for fall risk assessments and interventions based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries Toolkit (CDC STEADI).


Post-Acute Care

  • Facilitates the implementation of the Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT) quality improvement program across the system of nursing homes which work with MaineHealth hospitals.
  • The program is designed to help care providers identify, evaluate and manage acute changes in the condition of nursing home residents and reduce hospitalizations.
  • Facilitates the implementation of a protocol to improve communication among hospital emergency department, EMS and nursing home care providers for when patients are transferred from the nursing home to the emergency department and back.

Tobacco Prevention and Treatment

The Maine Center for Disease Control contracts with The MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence (CTI) to implement the Statewide Tobacco Treatment Initiative for Maine. The Initiative aims to increase access to proven treatments for tobacco dependence, and  

  • Provides statewide telephonic tobacco treatment services to Maine residents who wish to quit the use of tobacco (The Maine Tobacco HelpLine 1-800-207-1230)
  • Offers vouchers for over-the-counter tobacco treatment medications (patch, gum or lozenge) free-of-charge to eligible participants who enroll in the treatment program.
  • Is committed to offering barrier-free services to special populations, including translator services and tailored treatment for pregnant women.


Maine Tobacco HelpLine Practice Engagement

  • Increases referrals from practices to the Maine Tobacco HelpLine via health systems engagement activities and integration of MTHL referral into Electronic Health Records.
  • Assists practices in establishing and maintaining systems to refer patients to the Maine Tobacco Helpline.
  • Assists practices in consistently addressing patient/client tobacco use as part of usual care.


Tobacco Policy

  • The annual Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network Gold Star Standards of Excellence recognition program recognizes those hospitals that are addressing smoking and tobacco use by creating and maintaining smoke and tobacco-free policies.
  • All hospital campuses in the MaineHealth network of care are tobacco-free and have been awarded Gold Star status by Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network.


Tobacco Treatment Training

  • Provides engaging education and training for healthcare professionals across the state to increase their capacity to effectively deliver evidence-based tobacco treatment.
  • Integrates best practice tobacco treatment into healthcare systems so tobacco users are consistently screened and offered tobacco treatment services at each healthcare visit.


Tobacco Prevention

  • Supports prevention of all types of tobacco use (including e-cigarettes) among youth and young adults statewide.
  • Widely promotes the Smoke-Free Home Pledge - a pledge all Maine residents can take to commit to setting their own rules against smoking in their home. The pledge is a good resource for providers to use to talk with patients about the benefits of having a smoke free environment. 
  • Provides information about and supports prevention from exposure to second-hand smoke in public places such as housing, colleges and schools, and lodging.

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